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How did your business start?

I started a gig last week and didn’t receive any order yet. I would love to hear about anyone who was able to break the ice! :smiley:

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About 6 weeks ago I made some gigs on a whim, thinking there might be a good market for helping authors get their books published by formatting them for Createspace and Kindle or other ebooks.

I made 4 distinct but related gigs. I viewed similar gigs out there to get ideas on pricing and see if I could offer anything different or better. For a couple weeks I didn’t get any orders.

I made many offers at discounted prices to buyers’ requests, knowing I was going to make $2-$3 per hour or less, but I wanted to get my foot in the door. I offered (and still do) unlimited revisions. Eventually a buyer found me, and I did good work for a cheap price. He came back to me for 3 more orders, and he left a great review every time (he should have, he got a lot for what he paid!)

After I got the first few orders from that buyer, more started coming in and I continued the same thing - low prices for good work. I also continued to polish my gig descriptions and improved the graphics for them as I had time. I got more work and more good reviews.

I communicate frequently and politely with the buyers. I also began sending out samples of my work to potential buyers, and a pdf guide on what to provide to me and what to expect, and other tips on how to get their books through the publishing process. One buyer told me it was my samples and my customer support that made him pick me over two other sellers.

I offer related gigs at the beginning or end of a lot of orders. I’m formatting their book for Createspace; they might need their Kindle cover converted for the new book, so I offer it at a discounted price - a package deal, sometimes for free. Often they accept.

I also get more efficient at what I do, learning tricks to make the work go faster. I also spend time researching my field, learning what I can to make what I do better. I’m also flexible - I formatted two books and covers for a Swedish author to upload to a Swedish distributor. Google translator was my friend during that order, as I figured out how to maneuver the Swedish website and download and translate their template.

I also guide the buyers through the process of reviewing my work - many don’t know what to expect or look for (that’s also why I wrote the pdf guide, but some buyers won’t read it). I make every little change or revision they request, happily.

I get more orders all the time. It’s been 6 weeks and I have 50 orders and I’m at Level 1 status and my prices are going up. I am almost making minimum wage now, lol. And now two of my gigs come up on the first page when you search for the keyword “Createspace”, even though I have only been actually working at this for a month. Which to me, is pretty sweet.

Some days I have 8-9 jobs in my To Do queue and I feel overwhelmed.

As I progress with more history and reviews, I can offer my gigs at a higher price and still get orders. Every week or so I raise my offer prices just a little bit.

Set goals and start small. My first goal was to make some orders. The next goal is to make $1000 in a single month and I may be on track to accomplish that. Then my next goal will be to make $1500 in a month. And so on.